Max Melchi, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, teacher and friend, passed away in the loving arms of his wife and children on Monday, Sept. 5, 2011. He will be remembered for his talents as an artist, and for the kindness and humor he generously shared with everyone he met. Max enjoyed travel, exercise, music, golf, fishing, the Detroit Tigers and an ice cold beer.
He was born Dec. 25, 1932, in Sturgis, son of the late Harold and Viola (Wilma) Melchi. After graduating from Sturgis High School in 1951, Max entered the Navy for four years and served in the Korean War. Upon return from service he married his best friend from high school, Martha Winslow. He went on to Michigan State University and earned his bachelor of arts in fine arts in 1960, along with his teaching degree.
After his first teaching job in Dearborn Heights, he moved his family to Midland in 1964 and over his career taught art and touched the lives of many students at Northeast, Jefferson and Central Intermediate.
Art was his passion and after retirement he continued his craft and traveled the state doing art shows. His many intricate works will be forever remembered by his family and friends as his labor of love. Max was truly an artist—in the works he created with his hands and the legacy he left here on earth. He will be greatly missed, but forever remembered.
He is survived by his wife, Martha (Winslow) with whom he spent 55 wonderful years. Max also has five children, Mona (Mark) Leeder of Wyoming, Mich., Mike Melchi of Saline, Mary (Perry) Clark of Commerce Township, Mark (Jenny Townsend) Melchi of Ann Arbor, and Marty Melchi of Chicago. Max has 11 grandchildren who meant the world to him, Ryan, Andrea, Jeannette, Tana, Pam, Chrystie, Aaron, Austin, Jacob, Nicholas and Caroline. He also has four great-grandchildren, Braxton, Julia, Drake and Chase. He was preceded in death by brothers Terry and Larry; sister, Mary Cleveland; and daughter-in-law, Julie (Mike) Townsend Melchi.
Funeral services for Max will take place at 2 p.m. Friday at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 505 E. Carpenter St.in Midland. The Revs. Daniel Kempin and Matthew Makela will officiate, with graveside burial rites in Midland Cemetery.
Family will receive friends from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. today at Ware-Smith-Woolever Funeral Home, 1200 West Wheeler St. in Midland, and from 1 p.m. Friday until the time of service at the church.
Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider a donation to the Midland Public Schools Art Department, 600 East Carpenter Road, Midland, MI 48640, or the Midland Community Center, 2205 Jefferson Ave., Midland, MI 48640, where he spent many mornings working out and socializing.